This is an "oldie, but a goodie" recipe for a sweet, buttery, dinner roll for your Easter holiday. This recipe can be made ahead of the holidays, partially baked and then just tossed in the oven, to finish baking, just before the big dinner. They are delicious, easy to make and freeze beautifully.
½ cup warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup warm milk
1/3 cup soft butter
1 package of dry yeast (see note)
1 egg (room temperature if possible)
3¾ cups all purpose flour
Heat the water and milk until warm (I use the microwave). Put it into the large bowl of a stand mixer and stir in the sugar and yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes (it should get foamy). After 10 minutes, add the salt, butter, egg and 1 cup of flour, mix well.
Continue adding the rest of the flour, ½ cup at a time. Stop your stand mixer every once in a while and scrape down the inside of your bowl and turn the entire dough mixture over (this insures that all of the flour gets mixed in completely and evenly).
Remove the dough from the bowl and spray the bowl with cooking spray. Return the dough to the bowl and spritz the top of the dough (a little) with more cooking spray (so the plastic wrap doesn't stick to the dough). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmest part of your kitchen for an hour to raise. Keep in mind that marble counters are not the warmest place to keep your bowl of dough.
After an hour, or after the dough has doubled in size (whichever comes first), push the air out of the dough with your hands. Roll out 12" "ropes" of dough and tie a knot in the middle, like this:To complete the "knot", tuck one loose end under the roll and bring the other loose end over the top and tuck it inside of the original knot, place in greased muffin tins. They will look like this:
Spritz the top of the rolls with (just a little) cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap again. Let them raise until they are double in size (35-45 minutes).
If you want to partially bake them (they will be like brown & serve rolls), bake in a preheated 325 oven for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely (then freeze). When it is time to use them, defrost them for about 15 minutes, then bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 8-10 minutes.
If want to bake them right away (after they have risen in the pans), bake in preheated 350 oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on how hot your oven runs, just keep an eye on them after 12 minutes).
NOTE: I buy bulk yeast, so, when a recipe calls for a package of yeast, I just use a tablespoon (that is a little extra, but works well).